BeBe Bettencourt nervous about her mother Suzi DeMarchi's reaction to her role in Eden

BROKEN PARADISE: Sophie Wilde as Scout and BeBe Bettencourt as Hedwig in new Australian drama Eden, which was filmed in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
BROKEN PARADISE: Sophie Wilde as Scout and BeBe Bettencourt as Hedwig in new Australian drama Eden, which was filmed in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

RISING actress BeBe Bettencourt admits she's feeling "stressed" about the prospect of her mother watching her performance in forthcoming Australian drama series Eden.

It's true that Bettencourt's character Hedwig is central to several steamy scenes in the opening episodes of the eight-part series, but surely when your mother is one of Australia's premier rock'n'roll frontwomen, she'd be open-minded?

For the uninitiated, Bettencourt is the daughter of Baby Animals' singer Suzi DeMarchi and Nuno Bettencourt, the Portuguese-American frontman of Boston rock band Extreme, who are best known for the FM radio rock staple More Than Words.

"I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit stressed about her watching it," Bettencourt says via Zoom from Sydney, before she returns home to Los Angeles later this week. "It's a little bit naughty.

"She's definitely a lot more chilled out [than most mums] but there's only so chilled you can go seeing your daughter in some of the situations I get myself into in the show, so it's probably not gonna be fun for her to watch."

However, you suspect Eden is going to turn Bettencourt into a major star. There's already a buzz around the 25-year-old after her beguiling performance as doomed schoolgirl Ellie Deacon in The Dry.

Bettencourt was born in Sydney and lived in Boston and Los Angeles as a child, which explains the American accent, before returning to the harbour city. These days she splits her time between LA and Sydney.

It's taken Bettencourt becoming an adult to fully appreciate her mother's legacy in Australian music. DeMarchi's greatest guidance to her daughter's growing career, has been to keep it in perspective.

"She's quite funny," Bettencourt says. "She's like 'yeah cool, you've got a new show coming out?' She's very proud of me, but is also, 'keep your head on your shoulders and don't get a big head' basically.

"She's very nurturing and great and has given me tons of advice over the years."

For the role of Hedwig, Bettencourt exhibits a sense of mystery and darkness. Hedwig is a troubled young drug dealer who disappears after a drug-fuelled fight with her best friend Scout, played by Sophie Wilde.

As the townsfolk of Eden search for Hedwig, the hidden secrets that led to her disappearance slowly emerge.

"It's always fun to play characters like that," Bettencourt says. "You really get to play around and explore. Honestly, the first thing was the name. I just loved her name.

"I found her really intriguing and when I auditioned I honestly didn't know that much about her, which I found quite exciting, and it carried into making this show. I got to discover her as the audience does."

Eden was filmed in the Northern Rivers of NSW, with the Byron Bay hinterland and coastal town of Lennox Head featured prominently.

It paints a mystical version of the Northern Rivers' famed wellness communities where people escape the realities of city life to indulge their sexual and debauched desires.

"It's alive and it sort of exists within it's self," Bettencourt says. "Once you travel into Eden in the show you realise the outside world falls away and it exists in this strange, suspended, fantastical reality.

"Obviously the Northern Rivers lends its beautiful scenery to it and really enhances it. It was honestly incredible shooting up there. Every location was so beautiful."

Yet there's a dark underbelly to Eden with its corruption of power and drugs and Hedwig is caught in the middle.

Is it a commentary on the alternative therapies and wellness communities in Byron Bay?

"All those places where people are striving for wellness and to better themselves, in order to get there, you're dealing with your demons," Bettencourt says.

"So I think to reach a greater state of being you have to address the darkness within you. I think that translates and that's probably why the town is like it is."


Streams on Stan from Friday, June 11.